Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
Brussels sprouts must surely be one of the Western world's least popular vegetables, not only with regard to children—as is the case with many other vegetables—but among people of all ages. Frequently, they are presented on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table merely as a matter of tradition and completely neglected for the rest of the year. This is a great shame, as Brussels sprouts are not only fairly inexpensive when in season, they are both nutritious and delicious when cooked and served in an appropriate fashion. So why are Brussels sprouts so widely scorned and ridiculed?
Overcooking is generally blamed for Brussels sprouts proving so unpopular. In a large number of instances, they are simply added to salted water and boiled until they are soggy, mushy and tasteless. This also serves to allow their nutritional value to escape in to the poaching water and be flushed down the drain. If cooking sprouts in this way, they should be added to boiling water and simmered for no more than five or six minutes so that they are served firm, tasty and nutritious. It is also important not to make the two cuts to form a cross in the base of uncooked sprouts as this serves the sole purpose of causing many of the sprouts to lose their outer leaves as they cook.
A far better way, however, to get your family to eat and most importantly enjoy Brussels sprouts is to vary the cooking methods and experiment with a variety of serving suggestions. It is most of all to this consideration that the recipes featured below are dedicated.
If you are looking to quickly find any particular recipe on this page, you can use the handy links in the table of contents featured immediately below.
- Brussels Sprouts Chilli with Turmeric Rice
- Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Spanish Tortilla
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Thighs and Chantenay Carrots
- Cheddar Cheese and Ham Brussels Sprouts
- Ham, Brussels Sprouts and Celery Leaf Soup
- Cheeseburgers with Fried Sprouts and Onions
- Stewed Ox Cheek and Sprouts in Blue Cheese
- Wild Boar and Apple Burger with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Potato Wedges
- Brussels Sprouts Fusilli Pasta with Wagyu Beef Meatballs in Tomato Salsa
- Kangaroo Rogan Josh with Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice
1. Brussels Sprouts Chilli With Turmeric Rice
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings
- 1 small to medium red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound minced (ground) beef
- 2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 green chilli
- 1 red chilli
- 1 teaspoon dried coriander leaf (cilantro)
- Salt and pepper
- 10 medium to large Brussels sprouts
- 14 ounce can red kidney beans in water
- 10 ounces (2 cups) basmati rice
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- Trim any damaged part from the stalks of the Brussels sprouts. Add them to a pot of boiling, salted water to simmer for 5 minutes only.
- Peel the onion and slice it in half, down through the core. Lay each half flat and slice across the way. Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves.
- Pour the vegetable oil in to a large pot and put it on to a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute gently for 2 or 3 minutes until the onion is just softened.
- Drain the sprouts through a colander and set aside to cool.
- Add the beef to the main cooking pot and break it up with a wooden spoon. Saute for a further few minutes until it is evenly browned and sealed.
- Seed the bell pepper and slice to a thickness of around half an inch. Top the chillies and slice moderately thinly in to discs. Pour the tomatoes in to the pot and add the sliced pepper and chillies. Stir well.
- Add the dried coriander leaf and season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir again and turn up the heat until the liquid approaches boiling. Reduce the heat to achieve a gentle simmer, Cover the pot and cook in this way for 30 minutes.
- Season a large pot of cold water with salt and the ground turmeric. Put it on to a high heat to come to a rolling bowl.
- Wash the rice in a sieve under running cold water and add it to the boiling water when the chilli has simmered for thirty minutes. Stir well and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle to moderate simmer for 10 minutes.
- Rinse the beans through a colander and add to the chilli. Stir them through.
- Cut the sprouts in half down through their central cores and also add to the pot, stirring everything together. Bring back to the simmer until the rice is ready to serve.
- Drain the rice well and allow it to steam off for 2 to 3 minutes before returning to the pot and seasoning with black pepper. Fluff it up and combine the pepper with a fork.
- Plate the rice with the chilli either alongside or on top.
Read More From Delishably
2. Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Spanish Tortilla
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 1 or 2 servings (depending upon chosen accompaniments)
- 4 small Brussels sprouts
- 2 thick rashers British back bacon (4 slices US bacon)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 small cherry tomatoes
- 3 large eggs
- Black pepper*
- 2 tablespoons coarsely grated/shredded cheddar cheese
*Note that the bacon will provide all the saltiness required in this dish and no additional salt is required.
- Wash the sprouts and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Trim away the very ends of the stalks and half them through the core. Lay each half flat on a chopping board and moderately thinly slice.
- Slice the bacon rashers/slices to approximately half inch strips.
- Pour the vegetable oil in to a small omelette pan and put the pan on to a medium heat. Add the bacon and sprouts and saute for a couple of minutes until the bacon strips are cooked and the sprouts are softened.
- Wash and dry the tomatoes, cut them in half and add them to the pan for a final 30 seconds or so of stir frying.
- Break the eggs in to a bowl, beat with a fork until just combined and season with some black pepper.
- Make sure the bacon, sprouts and tomatoes are evenly spread over the base of the pan before carefully pouring over the beaten egg. Put your kitchen grill/broiler on to preheat to its maximum setting.
- After a few minutes and when you can see the egg is set almost but not quite all the way to the top, place the pan under the grill/broiler to complete the setting process.
- When the egg is fully set, scatter the tortilla with the cheese and place it back under the heat until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
- Slide the tortilla from the pan on to a plate. In this serving instance, it was then sliced like a pizza in to six wedges, with 3 wedges being served per person along with some potato crisps/chips.
3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Thighs and Chantenay Carrots
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 55 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 1 serving
- 5 chantenay carrots
- 5 Brussels sprouts
- 2 large chicken thighs (whole, skin on)
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- Homemade chips/fries to serve (optional)
- Put your oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
- Scrub the carrots and wash the sprouts. You could at this stage trim the tops off the carrots but they are deliberately left whole in this instance for presentation purposes. The remaining stalk portion is of course not eaten. Trim the very end of the sprout stalks.
- Put the carrots only in to a pot of cold, salted water and the pot on to a high heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat to achieve a modest simmer.
- When the carrots have been simmering for 5 minutes, add the sprouts and simmer for 5 further minutes before draining and setting aside to cool.
- Season the chicken thighs on their flesh sides with salt and pepper and lay them flesh sides down on a lightly oiled roasting tray. Rub the skins with olive oil and season with salt before placing in to the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden. Take them from the oven and pierce the flesh with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear and they are fully cooked. If not, return them to the oven and cook for 5 more minutes before testing for a second time.
- Lift the thighs to a warmed plate and cover with foil to let them rest.
- Put the sprouts and carrots in to the tray with the chicken juices and turn them around to evenly coat. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Plate the chicken thighs, sprouts and carrots along with serving accompaniment(s) of choice.
The following 2 recipes are inter-connected - the ham is cooked and partially used in Recipe 1 and the soup is made from the ham stock and leftover ham in Recipe 2
4. Cheddar Cheese and Ham Brussels Sprouts
Cook Time - Part 1 (Cooking the Ham)
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
- 2 pound boneless, unsmoked rolled ham
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 large carrot
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 red chilli
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Sit the ham in a large soup or stock pot and add enough cold water to comfortably cover. Do not add anything else at this stage as this initial procedure is simply to cleanse the meat of excess salt.
- Put the pot on a high heat just until the water starts to boil.
- While the ham is coming to an initial boil, wash the celery sticks and carrot and roughly chop.
- Peel the onion and chop in to quarters. Cut away and discard the top of the chilli. Roughly chop the main body.
- Lift the ham from the water with a carving fork and large slotted spoon to a plate.
- Carefully discard the boiling water and rinse out the pot.
- Using the fork and slotted spoon again, lift the ham back in to the pot. Add the prepared vegetables and the whole peppercorns before pouring in enough fresh cold water to comfortably cover.
- Put the pot on to a high heat until the water starts to simmer. Cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for one and a quarter hours.
- Lift the ham from the pot with the carving fork and slotting spoon to a plate, Cover and leave to rest and partly cool for a minimum of 15 minutes.